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Posted on: October 17, 2022

Orange County SHIIP provides free and unbiased assistance to those with Medicare

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The Orange County Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) provides free and unbiased assistance to those with Medicare. Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, we recommend that everyone with Medicare review 2023 plans to ensure you have the best plan for your needs. Both Part D Drug Plans and Part C Advantage Plans have changes each year, making it important to compare your current plan with other options. Many people can save $300, $500 or even thousands of dollars by switching to a different plan, and most can only change during this seven-week period.

Here are three ways you can take advantage of Open Enrollment:

  • Schedule a meeting with a certified counselor.  Our volunteer counselors are trained by the NC Department of Insurance and are committed to helping you understand all your options without pressure to choose a specific plan.  We offer in-person appointments at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill and the Passmore Center in Hillsborough as well as Zoom video appointments. Visit www.orangecountync.gov/Medicare to schedule your appointment on-line or call 919-245-4274 and leave a message with your contact information. We’ll call you back to schedule.
  • You can also get help over the phone 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday by calling the NC Department of Insurance SHIIP Program at 1-855-408-1212.
  • You can review plans yourself by visiting www.Medicare.Gov. Important Note: If you take injectable insulin, the information provided at Medicare.Gov is incorrect due to legislation passed in August that capped the price of injectable insulin. Please be sure to use one of the other options above.

Whatever approach you choose, the important thing is that you check your Medicare options every year between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7.

If you are new to Medicare with an effective date in 2022, you will choose a plan for 2022 and should still review plans again for 2023 during the Open Enrollment Period.

If you are an NC State Retiree, your open enrollment period ends Oct. 28. There are no major changes to the State Retiree plan offerings for Medicare-eligible members, and you don’t need to take any action unless you want to change plans.

The Orange County SHIIP program is sponsored by the Orange County Department on Aging.